Underlayment for Laminate Floors
Underlayment is a thin polyurethane layer that is placed over the sub-floor as a smooth base of cushioning for the laminate flooring. The laminate flooring is then floated over the top of the underlayment. It is important to choose a good grade of underlayment, since it supports your flooring and acts as the foundation. There are a variety of underlayments available to use underneath your laminate flooring, with different levels of moisture resistance and sound reduction. We will discuss the basic types of underlayment used for laminate flooring below.
The least expensive type of underlayment used for laminate flooring is standard underlayment. Most people choose this type of underlayment because it is cost efficient. However, it provides very little protection for your laminate flooring and is not recommended for any areas where moisture might be a problem, since it does not contain a moisture barrier to keep moisture from seeping up from the sub-floor and into the flooring, causing damage. Moisture is a big threat to laminate flooring and should definitely be avoided.
Another type of underlayment available for laminate flooring is combination underlayment, which costs more than standard underlayment. It is constructed of the same material as the standard underlayment, but with one important difference. Combination underlayment also has a plastic coating that resists moisture and acts as a moisture barrier between the sub-floor and the underlayment. This prevents any moisture from coming up from the sub-floor and compromising the structural makeup of the high density fiberboard core by soaking through the underlayment and into the laminate flooring and causing it to bulk or swell. This underlayment is recommended when installing laminate over concrete sub-floors, in basements or anywhere that moisture might be present.
If your home has more than one level and you are planning to install laminate on an upper level then you may consider using a denser, more expensive underlayment, which offers more insulation and padding and is designed to be more soundproof. This will significantly reduce sound transmissions from the upper level to the lower level, when people are walking across the floor over head. However, it does not reduce the amount of noise made from walking across the laminate floor in the same room.
In the event that you require a more soundproof underlayment with a greater capacity for reducing noise, you may want to consider using solid cork underlayment. Cork underlayment is a natural, replenishable product that is made from the bark of the cork tree. However, it is the most expensive of all of the underlayments available for laminate flooring. During installation, the cork underlayment is glued to the sub-floor and the laminate flooring is floated over the top of it. It is highly effective at soundproofing and preventing the hollow sound that you hear when you walk across a laminate floor. It is very resilient, a great insulator and will significantly reduce noise from upper floors.
At woodwudy.com, we have a wide selection of underlayments available for laminate flooring that will fit your budget and meet your flooring needs. If you would like more information or advice on which underlayment is right for you, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-877-966-3983. We will be more than happy to assist you.